proudly consider myself a "founding member" of Friends of the Great Green
Macaw/Rainforest Biodiversity Group (RBG). I began involvement in the organization
in 2000 after my first trip to Costa Rica, where I formally met Andrew our
founder. The trip to Costa Rica inspired me to study natural resources and
to join Friends of the Great Green Macaw when invited by Andrew. The new
organization was exciting to be a part of. It brought together and motivated
a variety of people from academic professionals to students, from Ticos
to birdwatchers all over the U.S. The organization has accomplished many
things to be proud of and continues to do so. I am amazed by the networks
that RBG has established in Costa Rica and the U.S. I have tried to be active
since I joined, and I served as secretary for a short time, which I am now
handing over to Blair Bumgarner.
has been a central theme of concern of our group. But as this group's momentum
in the U.S has slowed, I return to the question of how do Great Green Macaws
fit into the larger picture of protecting biodiversity? Naturally, concern
for Great Green Macaws should lead to concern for neo-tropical migratory
birds, who share habitat with them, or vice versa. I am interested in expanding
on this through RBG because I think it would link more North Americans with
Central America. Even for me, who has been to Costa Rica and seen the beautiful
Great Greens, it can be difficult to fundraise and do educational outreach
on a bird that most people will never see. We as members of RBG know that
our reach extends beyond the Great Green Macaw, which is partly why we changed
the group's name. But does the average person understand this connection?
I think there is definitely room for more education and outreach in this
was talk of trying to get funding to publish a special bird guide of neo-tropical
migratory birds specific to Costa Rica, although something like this may
exist already. There was also talk of hosting some birding activities in
Wisconsin. I would still like to see these things happen. Even more than
this, I would like to see the birding trail idea become a reality. RBG has
a good start on the concept; we need to continue work on this, including
building more financial and ideological support. I think that making the
link between Central and North America more distinct is an important part
of building support for the bird trail.
September I return to UWSP as a graduate student in Natural Resources. I
will be studying forestry and looking at regeneration of white pines. And
of course I will be contemplating how our Wisconsin forests and wildlife
relate with those in Central America.
hope to be able to add something to the goals and mission of RBG in the
future. And I hope that our members continue supporting the organization
as well. All of the political and environmental issues and causes can be
overwhelming, but little things do add up and just because we can't accomplish
everything we want doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try.
News and Notes
The National Forest Service has taken an interest in the point-count
bird surveys we have conducted in Costa Rica. The Forest Service employee
helped us crunch the data we had collected at Finca El Retorno in 2000 and
2001. The National Forest Service may use our data in an upcoming report
on neo-tropical migrants. We will let you know if and when the report comes
will be putting this bird survey data, along with other volunteer project
reports on our website in the near future as we are again updating our
of National Forests and Point-Count Bird Surveys, Andrew Rothman,
Founder and Vice President, has been working again in Plumas National Forest
in Northern California for Point Reyes Bird Observatory counting song birds.
Costa Rican Bird Route remains a focus for RBG. We are currently
without funds to hire a project director to further develop the project
on the ground in Costa Rica. A paid director would finalize a pilot route,
and begin to develop marketing materials and work closely with local landowners.
With a director we would also be able to re-establish our assume the role
Adopt-A-Tree program continues and has been very popular with local
landowners and conservationists alike in Costa Rica. More trees are ready
to be adopted and more money has already been raised. You too can help to
adopt a tree for as little as $100. This money goes directly to keeping
Great Green Macaw nests protected. We appreciate your assistance.
Here we will note items
or things that would be of great use to RBG. Please let us know if you can
help provide them. Each item will receive a value that can be used as a
The Wish List:
Computer (laptop or desktop)
Office Supplies (Manila and regular envelopes, printer paper, pens, pencils,
for your help!!!
2984 Triverton Pike Drive
Madison, WI 53711